For those injured in an accident, ensuring that medical bills and other types of losses are adequately compensated in a legal claim or lawsuit is a top priority. Many accident victims, however, are unaware that their actions may have a negative impact on their claims.
Whether injured in a bicycle accident, motorcycle accident, motor vehicle accident, slip and fall, or other type of incident, the behavior of the injured claimant may cost him or her thousands of dollars in damages—even if the claimant was not even partially responsible for the incident.
Do Not Wait to Seek Medical Treatment
When someone is injured in an accident, the at-fault party’s insurance company is generally responsible for paying for the victim’s medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. However, the insurance company’s goal is to save money. If an accident victim fails to seek medical treatment in a timely manner, the insurance company may argue that the accident victim did not try to mitigate his or her damages, which may result in a lower damages award.
Similarly, accident victims must make sure that they follow their doctors’ orders. Accident victims should show up to all scheduled appointments and follow up as requested.
Be Honest About Past Illnesses or Injuries
Many accident victims worry that their past illnesses or injuries will hurt their chances of prevailing in their claims. However, this is not the case. If all injuries are disclosed to a healthcare provider, that healthcare provider is able to determine which injuries were caused by the accident and which prior injuries, if any, were aggravated by it.
It is important to never appear dishonest when pursuing a legal claim—therefore, accident victims should always disclose their full health histories after an incident.
Do Not Try to Handle the Case on Your Own
Accident claims have numerous requirements that must be met, such as filing deadlines. Rather than try to navigate the complex legal system while recovering from an accident, it is best to let an experienced Colorado personal injury attorney handle the case.
Seek Legal Advice as Soon as Possible
The amount of time you may have to file a legal claim depends on a variety of factors, including the type of incident, and whether it happened on governmental property. Seek the advice of an experienced attorney sooner rather than later so you aren’t barred from making your claim. An attorney can also advise on best practices early in the case.
Wait to Settle the Claim
Once the ink has dried on a settlement agreement, there is no going back. If an accident victim settles before all of the relevant evidence—such as medical records and bills—have been produced and examined, the settlement may not adequately compensate the victim for the losses he or she has sustained.
It is important to achieve maximum medical improvement before considering any settlement offers.
Keep the Details to Yourself
Although it may be tempting to discuss the case with friends and family or on social media, it is best to refrain from doing so. Discussing the case with anyone other than the victim’s attorney could violate the attorney-client privilege, which would mean that conversations between the attorney and client are no longer confidential.
Further, if an accident victim discusses the case with others, the details of the conversation could make their way to the opposing party. Additionally, social media posts may be printed out and used against you in court.
Do Not Start a GoFundMe
Statements made online, even those made on fundraising sites, may be used against accident victims in their cases. What may seem like a good source of funds for pending medical bills and other expenses may actually cost victims more in the end. In addition, depending on the amount of money raised, the IRS may investigate the fund.
Contact an Experienced Denver Personal Injury Attorney to Ensure Your Claim is Handled Properly
When you hire an attorney, you are able to focus on recovering instead of the complicated legal system. Attorney Jennifer Donaldson handles all types of personal injury claims and is prepared to help you with your case. To schedule a free consultation, contact us at 720-487-1368.